Considering the growth of his 22Red cannabis lifestyle brand at venues across the Valley, it might seem like System of a Down bassist Shavo Odadjian is a Las Vegas resident. The musician, entrepreneur and father of three says he has considered buying a home here, but after the pandemic basically transformed him into a full-time dad, he’s been focusing on his family and his business.
He’ll get back to the business of performing with System at T-Mobile Arena this week—the first of five west coast shows on the art-metal outfit’s schedule.
“It took touring away from me when we had a world tour coming up, so we’re doing small pieces at a time,” Odadjian says. “After these shows, I don’t know when we’ll be playing again. So I’m juggling that with home-schooling. Imagine first-grade and third-grade classes going off, and being in the nursery [with a 3-year-old] and trying to do office Zoom meetings.”
Rock stars are people too, especially during a global pandemic. System just marked the 20th anniversary of seminal album Toxicity, which infamously debuted at No. 1 on September 11, 2001.
“It’s interesting how it really made sense back then. People thought we were talking about the stuff that came after 9/11 on that album, but we were talking about other stuff; it just became relevant,” Odadjian says. “Here we are 20 years later, and it’s just as relevant with what we’re going through again, and the whole planet is going through it.”
He says the group has always enjoyed performing in Las Vegas, and fans should expect an explosive performance considering how long it’s been since the SoCal-born band took the stage. “I haven’t played these songs for three years. It’s going to be something special.”
Meanwhile, offstage, 22Red has evolved and expanded rapidly in California,